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Dublin: 9°C Friday 18 June 2021

What to do with... Overripe bananas from the fruit bowl

Got a bunch going black? We’re here to help.

Image: Shutterstock/Playa del Carmen

BANANAS ARE ONE of those staples I always have in my kitchen, they’re great to have on hand for a snack or quick breakfast on the go.

In this amazing heat we’re having, bananas  can go ripe even more quickly than usual and I’m probably not the only one who’s ended up with a pile of brown bananas in the fruit basket!

Fear not: Overripe bananas may not look great, but they are perfectly fine to eat and can be used up in so many delicious ways.

Here’s some suggestions below.

1. Smoothies

I’ve developed a newfound love for the freezer lately. There’s something weirdly satisfying about organising various foods into ziplock bags to have on hand whenever you need them! Bananas are a great one for this. Chop them in half, pop into a zip lock bag along with some other fruits (blueberries and strawberries work well) and you’ve got a smoothie ready to blitz!

Just add a dash of milk of your choice and a half cup of oats. A delicious on-the-go breakfast.

2. Banana bread

The browner bananas are, the better the bread will taste, so don’t fear if your bananas are looking like they’ve reached the end.

For a very quick and delicious banana bread, mash two large bananas, add in 8oz wholemeal flour, 4oz butter, 4oz caster sugar and two eggs. Once blended, transfer to a loaf tin and bake for 45 mins at 180 degrees Celsius.

To make it extra delicious, why not get creative with some toppings and add in a handful of dark chocolate chips or macadamia nuts! Perfect served alongside a coffee for an elevenses.

Source: Shutterstock/evilbeau

3. Pancakes

Banana pancakes are seriously simple to make, and reheat really well too. Simply blend one banana, one egg and two tablespoons of oats until you have a batter consistency (add a dash of water if you need to).

There’s no need for any artificial sweeteners or sugar in this recipe, making it great for kids too. Want a weekend brunch that will impress? Stack ‘em up and drizzle with maple syrup, berries and marscarpone cream.

4. Banana oat bars

Ideal for a quick snack or kids lunchbox, oat bars can be made from scratch in under 40 minutes. Oat bars can be made with store cupboard ingredients – so they’re a great one to make on a whim when you fancy something sweet.

As a base, melt 3tbsp honey and 3tbsp peanut butter in a saucepan. Add in 3 mashed bananas and 250g oats. At this point, you can add in whatever toppings you have to hand – dried fruits and nuts work well, with nuts adding an extra protein kick.

Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 30 mins at 180 degrees Celsius. These actually freeze quite well too, although we guarantee they won’t hang around that long!

5. BBQ Bananas

Okay, we know this isn’t the typical recipe that comes to mind when you think of bananas but, trust us on this one! To make, simply make a slit in the banana skin and wrap in tinfoil to make a parcel. Feel free to add in some chocolate buttons or marshmallows for some extra sweetness. Bake on the BBQ for 20 minutes or, if making in the oven, for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

Vanilla ice cream makes the perfect accompaniment to this oozy goodness – the perfect post BBQ treat!

This week, Lidl removed all the plastic packaging from their Fairtrade organic bananas. Read more here

More: What to do with… leftover roasted vegetables>

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